Hype Sanity Check: Can robots replace teachers?

Original article was published by Nyla K on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


Hype Sanity Check: Can robots replace teachers?

Our generation’s most hyped words have got to be 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗿𝘂𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗼𝗹𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗔𝗜.

The truth is we are nowhere close to Gene Roddenberry’s utopia or even close to the sophistication of Commander Lieutenant Data’s operating system.

So why are we still saying things like AI will replace teachers?

Sundar Pichai terms AI as a technology more significant than the discovery of fire and electricity. Neither of which replaced humans, but helped speed up our societies’ development by making our lives easier and safer, ultimately creating innovations. However, experts still claim that AI’s “Real brains — and genuine intelligence — are still so far in the future”.

However, AI in its current form can still benefit teachers, not by replacing but by allowing them to:

  • Replace the countless hours spent on assessments, grading, homework, etc..
  • Use data analytics to explore new instructional and pedagogical models for 21st-century learning.
  • Processing AI’s power of calculated predictions to screen students at scale for reading literacy, dyslexia, and other learning needs they might need.

Technology is a tool, not a solution. We need to stop thinking of replacing humans. Instead, we need to focus our efforts on upskilling or reskilling people to improve AI & solve our world’s problems.